Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year, and A Quote from a Dead Guy

It's the start of a new year, and I trust that you have enjoyed greeting 2016 with the appropriate level
of festivity and seriousness--festivity because it is a gift to be given another year, and seriousness because it is a responsibility to use our time wisely.

Today is the anniversary of the death of Edward Perronet, a man you may not have heard of, but if you grew up in church, you probably heard his work. He wrote the hymn, "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name," and whatever tune you sang it to (there were three that our church used at different times), it called upon us to praise our Lord completely, and the universe to do so as well.

As he lay dying, he was apparently quite aware of what was going on. As he faded, he had one last word for those around--and I hope I can offer this kind of praise when I go. He said,
Glory to God in the height of His divinity! Glory to God in the depth of his humanity! Glory to God in His all suffering! Into His hands I commend my spirit.
Now, that is a God-centered focus in all things and all times!

And just in case you didn't grow up singing it, here are the words to his most famous hymn--at least the four most famous stanzas (there were nine originally--these are the four we use in their original form, and note that his words are even more theologically precise than we now sing (in parentheses)!)

All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all!
O seed of Israel's chosen race (Ye chosen seed of Israel's race)
now ransomed from the fall, (ye ransomed...)
hail him who saves you by his grace,
and crown him Lord of all.
Hail him who saves you by his grace,
and crown him Lord of all!
Let every tongue and every tribe (Let every kindred, every tribe)
responsive to his call, (on this terrestrial ball)
to him all majesty ascribe,
and crown him Lord of all.
To him all majesty ascribe,
and crown him Lord of all!
Oh, that with all the sacred throng (...yonder sacred throng)
we at his feet may fall!
We'll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.
We'll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.